“We are too apt to rest in a bare profession of faith, and to think that this will save us; it is a cheap and easy religion to say, “We believe in the articles of the Christian faith;” but it is a great delusion to imagine that this is enough to bring us to heaven.”
Jesus said: “…and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Mark 10:21 (NKJV)
There is a chasm between ‘profession’ and ‘following’ when we speak of our relationship with Jesus. It is easy to say you are a believer. Remember Satan even believed in Jesus. To follow Jesus we must take up our cross as He did.
There are inherent characteristics that lie buried deep in our hearts. When in a close relationship with God, there is pain when these characteristics are exposed. This is self-awareness that is caused by a personal, spiritual interaction with God. As we become more aware of how God is working in us, we are keenly self-aware. Believing our true ‘self’, however, is not always easy. We must trust God as He exposes our true self and rely on Him that all is for His willful purpose.
The cross is a cross of humility, truth, and awareness. It is God ‘revealing’ Himself to us that shows us who He is by exposing who we are. When we see our self, we in turn see a God that forgives and loves us in spite of our shortcomings of which we now are aware of.
Do we need to be sacrificed to be a true follower of Christ? The answer is, yes. We shed, or sacrifice, our old self to be reborn by Spirit. We sacrifice a life in a world where profession of belief is more common that actual deed of living in our belief. We carry a cross that is not burdensome as Jesus walks beside us, but it is not always easy to bear in our flesh. We are in a relationship where the water rises to our face, and we trust fully we will not submerge.
Stand true to our Lord. See your image in the image He created and right your path toward Him.